Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool
UEFA Champions League
Date: Tuesday, 19 October 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK / 21:00 CET
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid).
Liverpool will aim to maintain their undefeated start to the season and revenge their Champions League exit in 2020 after returning from the international break apparently blazing on all cylinders.
Despite being the current La Liga champions and one of the world’s top 15 wealthiest clubs, Tuesday’s opponents like nothing more than playing spoiler, and Diego Simeone’s side will surely try all in their power to ruin Jürgen Klopp’s night.
Atléti are presently fourth in La Liga, three points behind leaders Real Sociedad, albeit with a game in hand. They have been cagey in the early going, scoring just 11 goals while allowing six, and winning only one game by more than one goal, comically against a Barcelona in self-imposed crisis.
Luis Suarez, a former Liverpool hero turned villain, is their leading scorer with five goals in all competitions despite walking most of his games, while Rodrigo De Paul, Antoine Griezmann, Yannick Carrasco, Geoffrey Kondgobia, and Matheus Cunha are the only newcomers since the clubs last played.
However, due to a muscle ailment, the latter is expected to miss the game, while Marcos Llorente and José Giménez will be game-time decisions.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool Head to head
- The last time these teams met, Liverpool was knocked out of the Champions League in the 2019/20 season at Anfield, in a 3-2 loss after extra time.
- In 6 previous meetings in UEFA competitions, Rojiblancos have 3 wins and a loss.
- No more than 2 goals have been scored in regulation time in any of their previous encounters.
- The Reds have not defeated Atletico at this venue and have scored just once in 3 matches.
- However, the team should have fond memories at the Wanda Metropolitano, having won their 6th Champions League title here.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool Prediction
This match is a typical instance of ‘irresistible force vs immovable object,’ since it is the first time the two teams have met since Atletico Madrid won the 2019-20 round of 16 over two legs.
The Spaniards have been tenacious at the back this season, but they will need to be at their best to stop the Egyptians, particularly Mohamed Salah, who has been looking as sharp as he has in a long time.
The hosts are helped by the fact that their scheduled La Liga match for the weekend was postponed to allow them to prepare for this match, and that extra freshness over a Liverpool side that was in action on Saturday is undoubtedly a slight advantage.
On current form, it’s difficult to bet against Liverpool, but there’s merit in supporting the draw, and under 2.5 goals is usually an attractive market when Atletico is involved.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool Team News
Stefan Savic, the banned Atletico defender who is already ailing, has two more games on his suspension, while midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia will miss the trip to Anfield if he is booked, but might be required at centre-back.
Jose Gimenez, Matheus Cunha, and Marcos Llorente, all of whom may be fit to play this week, have been given a triple injury boost by the hosts.
If Kondogbia is recruited into the back three, Luis Suarez will need no extra motivation to beat his former team this week, while Rodrigo de Paul and Thomas Lemar should also start in the midfield.
Following their late returns from international service, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and Fabinho traveled directly to Madrid, where they are expected to replace Caoimhin Kelleher and James Milner in the starting XI.
At Vicarage Road, Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold were both declared fit to play, but Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, and Harvey Elliott are still out.
After an injury scare with Portugal, Jota was selected on the bench at Vicarage Road with this game in mind, but the forward will find it difficult to replace Firmino following his hat-trick at the weekend.
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Felipe, Kondogbia, Hermoso; Trippier, De Paul, Koke, Lemar, Carrasco; Suarez, Griezmann
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane